The Burkinabe executive informed the trade unions on Friday 9 December of its intention to deduct 1% from the net salary of public and private sector workers. This is what emerged from a press release from the Burkinabe presidency on Friday following a meeting between the president of the transition, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the trade union and the employers.
The initiative aims to set up a fund to pay for and acquire weapons for the 50,000 Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP). According to the government, a total of 106 billion CFA francs (US$170 million) is needed to pay for these army auxiliaries and their equipment.
“As part of the fight against terrorism, the government has decided to recruit 50,000 Volunteers for the Defence of the Homeland (VDP). These VDPs will be paid CFAF 60,000 per month per person, which should mobilise CFAF 36 billion per year for their care. In addition to this, there are weapons to be paid for to equip them, uniforms for their clothing, vehicles and fuel for their travel. And all this is estimated at 106 billion CFA francs,” said the Minister of Economy, Finance and Forecasting, Aboubacar Nacanabo at the end of the meeting.
The Minister of Economy further explained that the state budget for the year 2023 does not take into account the recruitment of VDPs and already has a shortfall of 600 billion FCFA (970 million dollars). Consequently, the establishment of a fund to mobilise F CFA100 billion ($160 million) for the year 2023 has become a necessity.
Furthermore, according to the government’s statement, to feed this fund, it has suggested several sources to the social partners, namely: a voluntary contribution from each Burkinabe, the deduction of 1% on the net salary of public and private workers and members of the Transitional Legislative Assembly (TLA), and deductions on taxes on certain consumer products, except for basic necessities.
The document specifies that the products concerned are drinks, tobacco, Internet connection, cosmetics and perfume. In addition, the Burkinabe government is also counting on the contribution of some companies with funds, including the Electronic Communications and Posts Regulatory Authority (ARCEP), the National Lottery of Burkina (LONAB) and the local development mining fund.
“Our estimates bring us to 80 billion CFA francs (128 million dollars), but we will be able to invest in the state budget to make up the difference,” added the Minister of the Economy.